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Issue No. 174 11 April 2003  
E D I T O R I A L

Might Does Not Mean Right
So the Americans have removed the dictator Hussein, the right wing press are firing more pot-shots than the Republican Guard and George W. Bush can ride into the sunset having liberated the Middle East. Game over – or is it?

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Picking Up The Peaces
Walk Against the War Coalition convenor Bruce Childs outlines the challenge for the peace movement in the lead up to Palm Sunday.

Unions: The Royal Con
Jim Marr argues the Cole Commission can only be taken seriously by people kept ignorant of the way it actually operated.

National Focus: Around the Grounds
Unions maintain the pressure for peace as the upcoming organising conference takes on added significance, reports Noel Hester.

Economics: The Secret War on Trade
Overseas-based multi-nationals are coming after our film industry, electricity, water, pharmaceutical benefits and even childcare. Or are they? Nobody knows, as Jim Marr reports.

International: United Front
Workers and their unions around the world have possibly never been as united in their commitment to campaign together against the War in Iraq, writes Andrew Casey

History: Confessions of a Badge Collector
Bill Pirie has one of the largest collections of trade union badges in the world. After 20 years the collection now numbers some 6,000 badges.

Politics: Stalin’s Legacy
Fifty years ago last month Josef Stalin died. How could it be that a democratic and socialist revolution produced one of the monsters of the twentieth century, asks Leonie Bronstein.

Review: Such Was Not Ned’s Life
The life of Ned Kelly is what we in the world of journalism term a “ball tearing yarn” so why have writers of the movie adaptation felt so impelled to dress it up with fiction, asks Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: Osama's Top Recruiter
Through our extensive intelligence networks, we have managed to track down the top recruiter for the global terror network of Osama bin Laden.

Satire: Woolworths CEO Denied Bonus After Company Posts Profit
Woolworths chief executive Roger Corbett was devastated today to report an 18.3% rise in profit under his management over the last year.

N E W S

 Carr: Workers Won It For Me

 Nursing Crisis Bites Elderly

 Judge Puts ‘Predator’ Before Workers

 WA Court Undermines Cole

 Mexican Chain Gangs Win NSW Work

 Della Muscles Up to Abbott

 STOP PRESS - Brewery Goes Flat

 ACCC Urged to Consider Jobs

 Unions Stats Track Armageddon

 Cameron: Feds More Interested in Iraq

 SARS Lays Jobs Low

 Working Hours Benefit Millions

 Journos Urge War Crimes Prosecutions

 Unions Support Displaced in Iraq

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
Factional Free-For-All
Chris Christodoulou looks at the fallout from the selection of the new Carr Ministry and what it means to the factional warlords.

The Locker Room
The Best Season Since Last Year
Phil Doyle goes trudging through the mud in search of the heart of the matter beneath the corporate biffo

Culture
Books on Bombs
In times like these, reading inevitably turns to America and war. Chris White wades through Pilger, Chomsky, Eco, Moore and Vidal.

Postcard
Postcard from Harvard
Labor Council's Michael Gadiel was elected to give the valedictory speech to this year's Harvard Trade Union Program.

L E T T E R S
 Taking Stalin's Crimes Seriously
 Unfair Dismissals
 More Angry Trots
 Tom's Tirade
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Nursing Crisis Bites Elderly


Two weeks after privatisation one of the state’s largest nursing homes is in crisis, rostering barely 20 percent of the registered nurses its own management plan requires.

The State Government flogged off Allandale Aged Care, near Cessnock, on April Fools Day. Eight days later, Calvary Community Retirement had only two registered nurses on deck, compared to the 10 specified by its own staffing profile – to care for hundreds of elderly residents.

The situation was so bad that the NSW Nurses Association dedicated one of its organisers to help drum up interest from Registered Nurses who might be able to plug the holes.

The crisis was brought under short term control by the use of agency nurses, some of whom had to be flown in from Sydney.

Nurses Association secretary, Brett Holmes, has undertaken an urgent trip to Cessnock to try and help the new owners find a way out of their dilemma.

Cuts in federal funding for aged care have made it the poor relation of the health system, offering inferior wages and conditions to those that struggle to retain nursing staff in other sectors.

"The situation is critical and can't be allowed to continue," Holmes said.

"It looks like another privatisation debacle in which all the guarantees provided by the State Government and the Hunter Area Health Service aren't worth the paper they are written on.

"This is one of the largest nursing homes in NSW and has provided top-level service in the past. I can assure staff, residents, and their families that the NSW Nurses Association is not going to let the government or the new management get away with this."

The Nurses Association fought the State Government on the issue of privatisation but is now committed to ensuring that the new owners, the Little Company of Mary, face up to their responsibilities.


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